850/Budget Cuts

From Radiant Heart MUSH

Budget Cuts
Date of Scene: 05 December 2023
Location: Plot Room 2
Synopsis: Cyprine, the most powerful of the witches five decides to take matters into her own hands, facing down Sailor Moon, Pluto, Neptune, Uranus and special guest Stellar. Unfortunately, welllll... It turns out there were time for some budget cuts and as she brings in two salaries it just made good financial sense. (CW: Death)
Cast of Characters: Hotaru Tomoe, Kyouka Inai, Usagi Tsukino, Haruka Tenoh, Michiru Kaiou, Setsuna Meiou

Hotaru Tomoe has posed:
Things were going well... mostly. Kind of. Sort of. Almost. Depended on which side of the aisle you were on, honestly. There had been a convention on, of all things, VR technology. Gaming, data, transferrance, even the prospects of uploading one to the 'Cloud' as it were. The final event of the day had been a looong, boring symposium on the ethics of VR technology.

There had been controversy, debate, some heated arguments, but now the place had begun to clear out.

Then one of the students had come back, and there had been *that sound*. Some remembered it, at least of the magical girls. Those guns. Those terrible, horrible guns. The student had collapsed, their body dropping on the stairs... and a girl with blue hair, a single ponytail on one side and a black outfit, stood at the top of the steps. The gun disappeared from her hands. "And that, Firefly, is how it's done."

"Uh huh... of course, Cyprine," Firefly muttered, staring at the poor unconscious boy. Would... he be okay?

Cyprine moved forward, bending down to grab the crystal... only for balance to get thrown off and her stuggle for a moment, taking a few steps forward and... accidentally... kicking the gem INTO the rows of seats. CRUD! The member of the witches 5 let out a curse and started crawling over the seats, a golden staff with a blue star appearing in her hands... which she tried to use to fish out the crystal!

Meanwhile, Firefly moved to the boy. He looked... tired. Exhausted. But he was alive. Thanks to Riventon's efforts to reduce the power of the guns. Firefly glanced back to Cyprine... before reaching into her pocket and pulling out a business card. She slid it into the unconscious boy's pocket and thought

Someone needed your help, Inai-san... Now, when the counselor arrived, she'd see Firefly kneeling over an unconscious body, her glaive in her right arm... And another woman with blue hair trying to fish SOMETHING out from behind the seats.

Kyouka Inai has posed:
    There's no particular delay between the call going out and Stellar's arrival. It happens nearly instantly- she isn't there, and then she is, only the faint pop-hiss of displaced air announcing her appearance. Already in henshin, white-and-gold military-style coat over black, she casts her grey-eyed gaze around the room taking it in. Hmmm. Small girl kneeling on the floor in front of an unconscious body. Another girl scrambling around the seats. Neither she recognizes, which begs the question-

    "Alright, who called me?" She demands, sounding somewhat annoyed. "Somebody here did, and I don't think it was him." She gestures to the unconscious boy, striding forward at the same time and kind of elbowing the kneeling Firefly out of the way to press two finger to his neck. Still alive, well, that's something. She straightens, frowning, awaiting an answer.

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
Why was Usagi at a VR conference? For the video games, of course! Though few suspected her of it on the initial meeting (especially given she made it clear at every turn she had no use a how to use a computer), she was actually a fairly accomplished video game player, particularly when it came to first person shooters like the Call of Duty series. She'd landed an invitation to test out a VR remake of a classic CoD game on the condition that she report whether it was more fun to play it in VR or on console. What company wasn't desperate to prove that buying the most expensive new video game devices wouldn't kill your chances with a cute girl?

The game demo had ended, but Usagi had stuck around, texting Mamoru and Ami pictures of the things she saw, enjoying the demonstrations even when they went over her head, and laughing at the louder arguments.

Then she'd heard it - the unmistakable sound of a Heartstealer Rifle, and a body collapsing. People screamed, people called for help, and in the chaos Usagi Tsukino dropped to the conference floor and became Sailor Moon. Cyprine might notice the burst of light from several rows down and to the side, but no justice speech emerges - instead, Sailor Moon crawls forward, keeping her head low, trying to get closer to the action to see what's going on before she announces herself.

Stellar is here, after all, so the situation just isn't as dire as it could be.

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    Haruka Tenoh and Michiru Kaiou may or may not have been nearby during the VR convention. It's possible either of them had an interest, or they may have just been nearby when the wind and oceans roared in warning. But it doesn't really matter - because the people who are standing in the doorway aren't Michiru and Haruka. Siloutted in the light coming from the other room, two sailor-suited soldiers stood, backs against their respective side of the door.

    "Do you think you can just come to our world, cause trouble, and get away with it?" Sailor Uranus asked. "Not as long as I have anything to say about it." she says, crossing her arms. "And I have a lot to say. I am Sailor Uranus, and you're going to regret doing evil."

    In truth, Haruka's on autopilot and letting Uranus speak for her. She doesn't know what's going on and hasn't encountered one of these yet. But she doesn't usually get these feelings because people aren't doing bad, and the girl with the staff sure LOOKs like a jerk. And is giving off that jerk aura.

Michiru Kaiou has posed:
Her aqua hair flowing over shoulder almost as if moving with water, Sailor Neptune leans back against her side of the doorway. While Uranus' attention is on Cyprine, hers is drawn directly to Firefly. How could it not be? It had been some time since she last saw her. Since she'd been warned away from contact. She'd been worried.

But she had a role to play. "And I am Sailor Neptune, prepare to be punished by the sea!"

Setsuna Meiou has posed:
For her part, Setsuna Meiou was at the convention because...well...underneath the collected and professional facade that most students get to see, she's actually a tremendous nerd. When one has a lot of time on their hands and nothing to do, fiction is far more entertaining than nonfiction, after all.

And Setsuna has had a LOT of time on her hands.

Oh, OFFICIALLY, she's here to check out some VR practice tools for medical training...but truth told, she's here for the video games.

Thus, as the convention starts winding down for the day, she's off to one end of the hall, absently sorting through the various goodie bags she picked up, inspecting all the little tchotchkes contained within.

And then, of course, someone has to ruin things. While she's never personally heard the sound of a heartstealer rifle...the sounds of people screaming IS something she's heard...and much like her younger compatriots...she's the type to run TOWARDS the danger.

Well, after transforming, first.

Let's not get stupid.

Thus, with a quick duck into a nearby room that has emptied out and one henshin later, Sailor Pluto steps out just in time to hear the introductions of her two fellow Outer Senshi.

All three Outer Senshi in one place to deal with one attack?

SOMEBODY is about to have a BAAAAAAAAAAD day.

Not announcing herself just yet, Sailor Pluto does similar to what Sailor Moon is doing on the other side of the area, quietly moving around for a clear view and thus line of fire for when she DOES make her play.

Hotaru Tomoe has posed:
Cyprine didn't look up from her work. Ugh. This was why she should have brought Riventon and not the brat. Utterly-- "Firefly! Are you going to help or not?"

"Ummmm..." Firefly said, having been moved away by Stellar's fierce elbow. "There's a sparkle skirt!"

"Well, then get RID of her! I'm busy!" Cyprine yelled, though she did finally glance up and... then returned back to focusing on trying to fish the crystal out. "There's just one of them and she doesn't even look dangerous!"


"Deal with her!" Cyprine yelled.

"There's more of them..." Firefly said.

Cyprine blinked a few times before... "Got it!" she yelled, before... falling off the seat. She gave a shriek, a moment later though she got to her feet. "Enough of this!" she yelled before lifting her staff to the sky. A blast of magical energy surged forward, tearing seats and floor away. a moment later a long skid mark of destruction had been torn through the row... And there, amidst the destruction... a large chunk of pure heart could be seen. It was then, finally, that she turned to look at them. "Sailor Uranus, Sailor Neptune..." She then glanced to Stellar. "Sailor... Old lady." ... SHE WASN'T EVEN THAT MUCH OLDER THAN THEM! "I am Cyprine, the most powerful of the Witches Five. You?" She held up her rod. "Should have run while you had the chance."

A single blue orb of magic shot out, swirling through the air at the three of them. When it connected, though, they'd likely realize just how incredibly powerful it was.

Firefly, meanwhile, scrambled out of the way! "HEY!" she shrieked. "Are you trying to hit me?!"

As the dust from the attack cleared... they'd likely notice there were now two of her. One with red hair, and a ponytail on the opposite side of her head. Walking towards the heart crystal...

Kyouka Inai has posed:
    "A.. look kid," Stellar sounds even more annoyed as she straightens up from where she had been bending over the unconscious body, "Do you see a skirt? Do you see any sparkles? Seriously, who even called me here? Was it you?" She's eyeing Firefly contemplatively. She can sense the magic of the approaching Senshi, and Sailor Moon's at least is familiar to her (she can't tell who somebody is when they are out of henshin using her magic sense, but recognizing a 'scent' she's detected many times before is relatively easy). The others are less familiar, but at least they conveniently introduce themselves.

    "Great speech," She comments to Uranus. "Pro tip though, you should give the speech after attacking, it does a lot to preserve the element of surprise-"

    She's distracted again when Cyprine calls her 'Sailor Old Lady'. "Excuse me? Does this look like a fuku? Is everybody blind today?" She's saved from further annoyed ranting by Cyprine's sudden attack.

    Stellar throws her arm up almost casually, a shield of golden light crackling into being, little arcs of reddish-orange lightning racing over its surface. However, it's clear she was unprepared for the actual power of the attack, because when she orb hits it, there's a massive snapping detonation, and she's forced backwards in a half-stumbled against some of the seats, grabbing one of them for stability and then flipping over it to the other side.

    "Spicy." She mutters, pulling out her phone and shooting off a message.

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    "Yeah but if I surprise them they tend not to survive, and then who will hear my speeches." Sailor Uranus replies flippantly.

    Cyprine talks a lot, but eventually she moves from words to action, sending a witheringly powerful blast at Uranus, Neptune, and Stellar. Stellar's shield absorbs a lot of it - for which Uranus is grateful because she can feel the intensity, the power behind that attack. Even with Stellar taking the brunt of it, Uranus has to cross her arms in front of her and brace for the impact, which almost but not quite sends her into a wall. "Hey, she's no youma. She's gonna put up a fight." she remarks, stepping up after the atttack clears.

    "Running is what your kind do after they take a hit, not us. That's the difference between people who fight for others, and people who only fight for themselves." Uranus says as she generates a crystaline orb of orange energy in her hand and raises it above her head.

    World Shaking!

    She spins and slams the orb into the ground, where it becomes a ringed-planet like projectile of energy, causing further property damage to the area as it rockets back towards the talking one of the two enemies. Three? Two? Well, the two tall ladies.

Michiru Kaiou has posed:
Sailor Neptune does not intend to find out what it feels like to be touched byu that magical orb. She's no dummy. So while Uranus braces for impact, Neptune dodges what remaining energy comes hurtling toward her. When she regains her footing she's quick to bring up her own hands, an orb of glowing aqua energy between them as she spins around on the spot.

Deep Submerge!

She brings her hands down and the orb rushes out with the sound of a tidal wave, looking just like the planet she's protected by, growing bigger as it fills with seawater. Rushing toward the...two?...villains.

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
Uranus, Neptune, 'and Pluto, all in the same place? Usagi's immediate and unkind first thought is that she's going to have to save another idiot from their arguably justified murder. Her second thought, after that attack is launched and barely blocked by Stellar?

Maybe she doesn't step in
too quick. Not for the villain, anyway.

She peeks her head up above the seats, and crawls faster, because she sees the launched crystal, and it's not far from her. Once she has it, she just needs to get close to that boy -

She crawls out of the row of seats, into the open space where the sections of separate, and finds herself facing a near-identical copy of the blue haired woman wrecking havoc - only this one's a redhead, and the crystal was directly in the space between them.

There's really only one thing to do, right? Stellar-sensei had even admonised Uranus for it.

"Moon Twilight Flash!"

The pale blue beam of light flies from the gem on Sailor Moon's tiara towards the red-haired villainess, even as Sailor Moon lunges for the Pure Heart Crystal, throwing herself at it, arms extended.

"In the name of the Moon, I, Sailor Moon, will punish you for trying to take this pure heart!"

Setsuna Meiou has posed:
As the situation develops, Pluto keeps quietly moving around the other side of the hall from Sailor Moon until she's got a good different line on the...redhead?

A glance over.

Great. There ARE two of them.

Still, Red Oni (because that's what she designates them in her head, Red Oni and Blue Oni) looks like she's close to something that MUST be the mcguffin they're looking for.

Even from this distance, she can see the sparkle...which is just confirmed as Sailor Moon shows up with a magical flare and a dive for the crystal.

While securing the McGuffin is probably a good idea...the wisdom of doing so so close to what is obviously NOT just a youma is possibly suspect.

Fortunately, someone's around to give her a bit of cover fire.

    dead scream

With a whispered attack incantation and a spin, Pluto lines up on the approaching Red Oni and lets fly with a ball of concentrated purple energy.

At this distance, even with it's quiet launch, she doesn't have a lot of hope of actually managing to snipe her target...but that's not her intention.

Right now, she's attempting a little bit of area denial and trying to give Moon a moment to get the McGuffin and get out of there.

Hotaru Tomoe has posed:
Firefly just quickly shook her head to Stellar. "No! I'm one of the bad guys! Uhhhh..."

Stellar had managed to BLOCK Cyprine's attack. That. That was impressive. Firefly gulped and leaped up onto the backs of some of the chairs and just... hopped/ran down towards them. She had only a moment to hear the assaults and... she turned.

And tripped. Falling over with a shriek, almost face planting on the seat. She had to dig the flat end of her device into the ground in order to pick herself up...

Cyprine, meanwhile, just sighed. Why was she stuck doing babysitting duty again? Wait. NO. NO NO NO! ATTACKS! Worse, Firefly was in the crossfire and-- Cyprine pushed her rod out, the gem catching the world shaking and deep submerge. At the same time, the red one, Ptilol, held out her hand and a matching rod, with a red gem, appeared. Catching first the flash and then the dead scream.

The terrifying thing wasn't that they shielded the attacks. The terrifying thing is that there was barely a ripple from them. It was as if the attacks barely moved them.

Then, in perfect unison despite the fact the two were apart, they waved their wands again.

Cyprine unleashed three blasts, one aimed at Stellar, Uranus and Neptune. Worst, the blasts had gotten *stronger*.

Ptilol, however, only unleashed one blast. Straight at the lunging Sailor Moon. A blast that was now so much stronger, amplified by both a Moon Twilight Flash and a Dead Scream. Forget the heart for the moment, focus on your LIFE! As it was aiming to take a lot out of not just her, but the convention center!

Firefly, finally, managed to crawl out from the seats and let out a yipe when she saw the duo of the witch's five move back into each other, back to back, near the fallen heart crystal. The pair laughed. "Alas, girls. You are strong, we'll honor your coming demises with that. Unfortunately for you, your power only makes us stronger! Everything you have is ours!" The twins spinning around each other, Ptilol the red head facing Stellar, Neptune and Uranus now while Cyprine faced Pluto and Moon and the crater formerly known as J-row seating.

Kyouka Inai has posed:
    Stellar is on the other side of a row of seating, which is of dubious use when attacks of such strength are being thrown around. But it does have one advantage- it prevents the enemy from actually seeing her, or at least seeing her clearly. She amount and scale of magic being unleashed is somewhat overwhelming to her magical senses, but she can with some effort tune it out enough to actually make sense of what's going on. The Pure Heart is more or less forgotten- sorry guy, but at the moment there's more urgent matters at hand.

    Those urgent matters consist of the fact that these two witches somehow just absorbed the attacks of all four Senshi and somehow used the energy to amplify their own. One of those blasts is heading straight for Stellar, but honestly, she's not concerned about herself.

    Even as the blast closes in on her, she leaps to her feet, grabbing one of the chairs and spinning around to hurl it straight towards Cyprine with a surprising amount of purely mundane strength. Stellar from the corner with a steel chair! While both it and the magical blast are still in-transit, she vanishes, teleporting-

    And re-appearing straight in the path of the blast heading towards Sailor Moon instead. Her arms cross in front of her and another, much larger shield pops into being in front of them, just before the blast from Ptilol impacts it. There's another huge detonation, energy washing over and around the shield as Stellar strains against it- then a crack, the shield fragmenting as the energy of the blast shears off to either side, digging two new scars into the floor but parted around Moon instead of diectly into her. And Stellar, she's sent tumbling backwards past Sailor Moon, not quite head-over-heels but certainly not of her own volition before she hits the wall with a thud, sliding down to one knee a hand braced against it, clearly dazed.

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    If Sailor Uranus was the kind of fighter to worry about having bitten off more than she could chew, she might currently be worrying about it. The Outer Senshi though, is not, and frankly neither is the girl she's layered on, since Haruka Tenou doesn't back down from challenges either.

    But she's also not unaware that this is going to be A Challenge, at least. There's no reason BOTH of them have to take the attack that's coming. Stellar throws a chair and gets out of the way. Uranus? Uranus shifts in front of Neptune, arms crossed in front of her. She can handle anything. Anything for the sake of the future. For the sake of their present. For the sake of this woman. Those thoughts ground her as she takes not only the blast intended for her, but the blast intended for Neptune.

    Maybe, for a brief moment after the second blast hits and her feet leave the ground for a moment from the impact, she does think maybe she's gone a little too far. Haruka staggers back and drops down to one knee, some of the edges of the ribbons on her fuku torn, red marks on some of her gloves.

    But she's smiling. She's smiling because she knows that Neptune is free to act. And she knows together they won't lose...


Usagi Tsukino has posed:
Moon Twilight Flash isn't Sailor Moon's strongest attack - or rather, her attacks don't range from strongest to weakest, but instead express different means of attack, from that which was most effective against the physical, the intangible, and the corrupted - but it was powerful, and to be able to absorb it without breaking a sweat, with barely a ripple of motion?

Sailor Moon had succeeded in lunging for the crystal, a delicate point caught in her cupped hands, her face and torso having smacked bodily into the ground as a result of her lunge, and she's in no position to dodge, scrabbling around in a panic to look for cover -

And then Stellar is there, and Sailor Moon climbs to her feet, still clutching the Pure Heart Crystal, having, without thought, chosen to protect the crystal over herself. The red-tinged light of Stellar's shield is terribly bright, and the explosion even more so, the the force of it sending Sailor Moon skidding back even without direct damage. With the crystal in her hands, she can't force herself to keep fighting, but Cyprine is between her and the collapsed boy -

"Why are you doing this? What did that boy ever do to you?!"

If she can take their power - maybe the power of words can make a change?"

No, no it won't.

Michiru Kaiou has posed:
Sailor Neptune sees the orb of energy come hurtling at her, crackling with the power from her own attack added to it. She is about to dodge when Uranus steps in the way. Her prince, coming to save her. She smiles, too, because now she can actually do something.

This pair is scary, if they can just take all their attacks like that. She knows she can't just mindlessly hurl another. No, what she needs is knowledge, and for that she has just the thing. She reaches into the liminal space where she keeps it, and pulls out the Deep Aqua Mirror. She holds it out, the back of it facing toward the red-haired girl and calls out the 'attack'.

Submarine Reflection!

It doesn't spew sea-water, no, not at all. It only does that when she points the mirror away from her. No, this is different. This shows her Ptilol's weakness. She does have a weakness, right?


Setsuna Meiou has posed:
As her Dead Scream gets straight up absorbed, Sailor Pluto blinks, then scowls.

It's gonna be like THAT, is it?

Stellar tanks the blast coming at Moon...but it seems to put her down for the moment...though what she did with the chair...hrm...

Once she spots that Moon managed to take the attack better, she starts moving slowly in the direction of the two witches...waiting for a moment when neither of them is looking directly at her...and when Moon starts trying to talk the Onis down, Pluto makes her move.

She bolts forwards with all the speed her enhancements grant her...then snags a loose chair with the ring of the Garnet Rod, plants a foot, spins, and launches ANOTHER chair at the two.

They're apparently the overly arrogant type...so hopefully having to deal with things getting thrown at them that they CAN'T just absorb will get them off their game.

Hotaru Tomoe has posed:
The duo laughed, watching the magical girls struggle. They were powerful, she couldn't deny. The fact Stellar had managed to block that attack? It was incredible. If the girl wasn't obviously one of those obnoxious defenders of justice and blah blah... she might have even been willing to offer her a place on their side. They could always use more proper hosts.

But now, the girl was out. And Moon had the crystal. She blocked one, but her time was at an end, to die as--

However, before Cyprine could launch an assault, FIREFLY! The magical girl came running in and SWUNG her electrical glaive at Sailor Moon! Admittedly... Firefly didn't want to. She DESPERATELY didn't want to. But the glaive COULDN'T KILL! While it could hurt Sailor Moon, it couldn't kill her! And that... that had to be enough. Mentally, she gave a thankful prayer that Stellar would be okay, if that was Kyouka or one of her friends, she didn't know. But she'd come. She'd helped so much already.

Ptilol, meanwhile, focused on the other two. Uranus ate two of her blasts (albeit, that poor chair had eaten the third. N-row 18, never forget.) Neptune's mirror shows Ptilol... and a moment later it shows... Cyprine.



"Why? Why not? all who oppose the Death Busters should be removed, permanently," the two witches said in unison. "You have stood in our way for the last time, 'sparkle' skirts."

The two pushed their rods up, into the air... The chair froze in mid air.

Then an eruption tore out from the rods. The chair dropped to the ground... And once more a blast shot through the air. But this time? This time it felt almost *personal*.

The one headed at Neptune looked almost exactly like *earth shaking.*

The one at Pluto? Just like that Moon Twilight Flash. While the attacks themselves weren't actually those same attacks, they certainly looked like them, the two girl's locked hand in hand, laughing as spun in wicked glee, moving closer and closer to Firefly and Moon.

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
Sailor Moon is so focused on Cyprine that she just - completely misses that Firefly is getting there, into her guard, with her electric glaive, and she shrieks as the glaive jolts her, hair standing on end and body practically vibrating. Her hands spasm and the crystal falls.

Sailor Moon falls too, landing on her rump with empty hands.

"W-where... did you come from?"

That hurt.

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    Sailor Uranus did not have much left in her after taking those two attacks. She should have stayed down, recovered herself. That probably would have been the tactically sound decision. The smart decision. That was probably the decision Sailor Neptune wanted her to make in this moment.

    But Sailor Uranus and Haruka Tenoh didn't see eye-to-eye on everything, but both of them were united in stubborn defiance. Sure, they'd do their duty - but they would do it their way. She was already starting to stand, considering if she could get over there and just stab the girls the old fashioned way - use some of that footwork she'd learned at fencing club.

    But there was no way she was going to let Michiru get blasted by Sailor Uranus' own attack. As far as she could tell the witches had absorbed it and thrown it back. So once more Uranus dives in front of the attack, but this time it's a scrabbling, barely-there thing. It's clumsy and she's just putting her body in the way, rather than guarding for someone else.

    The attack impacts her, and her last real conscious act is to move slightly to adjust her trajectory so she brushes past Neptune on her way into the wall, rather than taking the other girl into the wall with her. Uranus hits the wall, the wall fractures, probably Uranus fractures, and she slumps against that wall. She's not dead, but she is also not conscious.

Michiru Kaiou has posed:
So somehow the two girls are each other's weakness. Of course they are. What good does that do her. Divination is so furstrating. Neptune scowls as she puts away her utterly useless mirror. She just freezes there on the spot and watches the pair of villainous girls trying to figure out how to make use of that knowledge.

So she's staring right at them when the magic orb comes hurtling at her like some dark reflection of Uranus' attack, and Uranus dives in front of it to take it for her once more. But her love's not at full strength, and it's a sacrifice move not a genuine defense. So while she takes the brunt of the attack, it still sends Neptune flying back into the wall which she slides down onto the floor.

What a useless mirror.

Setsuna Meiou has posed:
Pluto curses inwardly as she watches her attack get stopped.

She shakes her head. It was just supposed to be a spoiler attack, but on some level she's a bit offended that her attack didn't do anything.

Clearly, next time she needs to use a bigger chair.

Unfortunately, this puts her rather out of alignment when the two throw attacks back.

Mainly because in order to set up that pivot and spin, Pluto had driven one of her heels into the floor...which means that she needs a few moments to extricate it in order for her to do something like dodge.

The best she is able to do is get the Garnet Rod up and interpose it between herself and the blast.

Upside? The Garnet Rod is for all intents and purposes indestructable, so it does a LOVELY job of breaking up the reflection of Moon's attack.

Downside? Instead of getting hit hard in ONE place, Pluto is instead scorched in a dozen spots all over her arms and legs from the fractured attack.

Hotaru Tomoe has posed:
Firefly had done it, had cut Sailor Moon. She felt that surge of guilt. She was so sorry. She wished she could--

All those thoughts vanished when her eyes fell on the pure heart crystal. She stared for a moment and then... she reached out. A hand going towards it. It was... so... pretty. So--

Then a hand grabbed her wrist. "What do you think you're doing?" Ptilol asked, a hand gripping the other girl's. "The pure heart crystal is our--"

Then Firefly looked up at her. But it wasn't with Firefly's eyes. They were hollow, empty. And that cruel grin formed on her lips. "N-no! I-I'm sorry! I'm--" Ptilol's words were, well... filled with *fear*. A primal fear. Cyprine stepped in, her rod glowing and preparing to unleash a blast--

Then it was shattered. It was hard to say what happened, but Firefly's glaive was now humming, dark purple magic burning from the tip, sparkling slightly from it and oozing. Cyprine's form outlined in the magic for a moment before disintegrating. Then her gaze turned to Ptilol. "P-please, I--"

A moment later she met a similar fate.

There was now just Firefly. Her glaive oozing that dark energy. That cruel grin on her lips... She then looked towards Sailor Moon. On her forehead was a black star, much like the sailor senshi's planet signs... except most definitely NOT! And she reached towards the pure heart crystal...

Then her glaive lets out a loud alarm, like the sound of a record being shattered. Sparks began to shoot out from it and the oozing dark energy disappeared. < Dark energy suppression initialized. Vacatatatatatat >

Whatever else it was trying to say was lost, as it exploded then. Firefly... collapsed a moment later, falling back to the ground. She wasn't moving, her henshin flickering... Then there was silence, the damaged glaive still in the girl's hand... for a few moments there was silence.

"GET AWAY FROM HER!" a voice yelled a moment before a new red head appeared in the air above them. She looked furious. "Cyp--" The words stopped in her throat when she saw the destruction. The outlines of the two witches... their shattered rods. Then her eyes settled on Firefly. She appeared by her side a moment later, picking the poor girl up, her eyes locked on Sailor Moon with what could only be called *raw, unbridled hatred.* "How... how dare you. You'll pay for this," Kaolinite said, gritting her teeth and picking up Firefly.

Then, a moment later, she was gone. Not that any of them were really in any shape to pursue the pair.

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    Sailor Uranus' eyes flicker open basically just in time for her to see the relevant information. The black star. The removal of the two Very Dangerous Enemies by... the other one? the girl? Another enemy pulling her away.

    It's a little bit after that before she speaks up. "So. Am I still unconscious, or did the little girl just totally erase the two girls that were using me as a pinball?" she asks, pain evident in her voice.

Michiru Kaiou has posed:
Sailor Neptune sits, slumped against the wall, still unable to do anything but stare at Cyprine and Ptilol, trying to figure out the pair. So, she sees it all, her eyes wide, as she witnesses what is so clearly an awakening of some sort.

The girl Firefly, the girl she believes to be a sleeping Sailor Saturn, just utterly destroys the two girls. That's very Sailor Saturn of her. But the purple dark energy magic and black star are decidedly not. Then yet another villain shows up to whisk her away after the glaive starts talking about dark energy suppression. Just like the last time, but this time it's not that boy who threatened her. It's someone who looks much more competent.

It all happens so fast Neptune finds herself reeling. So when Uranus finally asks her question, Neptune sounds a bit out of it when she simply confirms Uranus' recollection with a simple, "Yes, that's exactly what happened."

Then a moment later, she adds, "And it was completely wrong."

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
Sailor Moon has a front row seat to the devastation unfolding and she really, truly, desperately wishes she didn't. Fallen back as she has, looking up as she is, what there is to see is: Firefly's eyes, so wide and innocent, gone hollow and empty. A jagged smile stretching across her face, malicious and cruel.

She shivers, seeing it, hearing Ptilol plead for - for her life? This wasn't - this wasn't supposed to be like this. They were going to fight for the crystal and then the enemy was supposed to run away insulting them -

Sailor Moon reaches out for Ptilol, in the moment Cyprine steps in. She grabs the back of her skirt, and then they gasped in fear in tandem as Cyprine began to disintegrate.

She tugs, tugs at Ptilol to try and yank her back, tries to -

In the end, she releases Ptilol seconds before her skirt can disintegrate and take Sailor Moon's hand with it.

Her own harsh, terrified breathing is loud in that moment.

The pure heart crystal had fallen from Firefly's grasp, right between Sailor Moon's shaking knees, and she reflexively shuts them, trying to protect the crystal even as that cruel smile turns here way, even as hair falls away to expose the black star in the center of Firefly's forehead -

The glaive shrieked. Sailor Moon did too, surprise and terror bursting out in a shriek that stopped just short of activating Supersonic Waves. Then, Firefly was toppling backwards and there was silence, Sailor Moon staring with huge eyes and a dropped open mouth at the burnt in outlines where two girls had been, at the flickering henshin of the girl who had become such a terrifying force.


Enter the new redhead. Sailor Moon could only gawk, and then, as hate-filled eyes turned her way, she realized what was happening, and stammered, words faltering.

"But - but -"

Kaolinite vanished with Firefly, and Sailor Moon shouts, "BUT I DIDN'T DO IT?!"

Her shout is stll echoing thanks to the acoustics when Sailor Uranus poses her question.

"Of course it was wrong! Those two - they - they died! And their friend thinks I did it?! And that little girl - and - but you guys are the ones that attempted murder, why am I getting the rep for it?!?"

This is probably not the top concern, but there's only so much horror a brain can manage.

Setsuna Meiou has posed:
Sailor Pluto pushes herself to her feet...and stands there, shakily supporting herself by leaning most of her weight on the Garnet Rod.

Her arms and legs...are NOT working their best right now.

Slowly, she starts shuffling her way over towards Moon, "Okay...THAT was a sub-par result. Anyone else feel like they got shot at and missed but shit at and hit?"

She groans a little, then keeps shuffling as feeling slowly begins to come back in her extremities, "...at least on the upside, I think Moon managed to keep the...Heart Crystal? That was a Heart Crystal, right?"

She winces and lets out a bit of a groan as her foot twists on some rubble, "...anyway, can you get that back to whoever needs it? I can't imagine being separated from your soul can be a good thing."

Mysterious Figure has posed:
Later, when the Pure Heart Crystal had long been returned, the conference hall was roped off by security, and the Sailor Senshi long gone...

From a vent in the far end of the room poured forth a small flood of water, which swelled across the floor, moving with purpose to climb the pathway separating chairs.

The water was a deep, rich blue, unnatural in hue. Those investigating the scene of the crime were too distracted by the puzzle in their midst, the charred outlines of two girls, where clearly there had been nothing that could cause such a thing to notice, and the flowing water... wasn't moving in their direction.

No, instead, it flowed from N, past J, to pool beneath a small object, forgotten in the hustle and bustle of transformation and chaos.

A single, abandoned, Phantom Silver Crystal Lollipop.

There was no around to see it. There was no around to notice, as the puddle surrounded the lollipop, and absorbed it into itself, before flowing away, out through yet another vent, as it had never been there at all.

Sailor Moon had plenthy of these lollipops. There wasn't a chance in the world she would notice that this one was gone.